Sunday, 8 November 2015

Remembrance Sunday, Northolt

There are two main roads running west out of London - the Great West Road (A4) and the Western Avenue (A40). For motorists using the latter, the Polish War Memorial is a landmark along the way, between the Target Roundabout and the Swakeleys Roundabout. Built in 1948, the Polish War Memorial stands next to RAF Northolt, and commemorates the 1,500 Polish airmen who gave their lives fighting for Britain in RAF squadrons.

RAF Northolt was the base for the legendary 303 Sqn during the Battle of Britain, but it was also home to other Polish units throughout the duration of WWII. Today being Remembrance Sunday, my father (a Warsaw Uprising veteran) and I visited the Polish War Memorial to pay our respects. To our surprise, we found a continual procession of cars drawing up to bring visitors of all ages to the Memorial. Below: my father reads the inscription on the commemorative plaque at the main gate.

On the back of the pedestal, words from 2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." Below: my father inspects the names of the fallen airmen inscribed upon the monument.

Below: opened less than two months ago, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, the Polish War Memorial Remembrance Garden is a new addition to the site.

A memorial service had been held earlier this morning; three great English hymns (Abide With MeI Vow To Thee My Country and O God Our Help In Ages Past followed by the British and Polish national anthems. It is gratifying to see the Polish War Memorial woven into the fabric of a British Remembrance Sunday, the flags of the United Kingdom and Poland flying proudly on either side of the memorial.

This time five years ago:
Death on the tracks

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